How Does Fast Food Affect Children’s Health?

Written by Dr. Steve Chaney on . Posted in Fast Food and Children's Health

Are Fast Foods Killing Our Kids?

Author: Dr. Stephen Chaney

How does fast food affect children’s health?

how does fast food affect children's healthFast foods are everywhere. They are advertised on radio, TV, and the internet. Our kids crave them. Busy moms rely on them as they ferry their children to all their different activities.

Fast food restaurants surround every school. Fast foods are even on the lunch menu at many schools.

It’s no wonder that one third of US children eat fast foods every day. What are the consequences of this fast food consumption? Previous studies have shown that fast food consumption is associated with obesity and diabetes in teens.

But, what about younger children? We know that obesity and diabetes is on the rise among younger children, but nobody has looked at the health consequences of fast food consumption in younger children – until now. The study I will talk about today was designed to look at the association between fast food consumption and risk markers for obesity, heart disease, and diabetes in children who were only 9-10 years old.

 

How Was The Study Done?

how does fast food affect children's health kidsThis study (AG Donin et al, Archives of Disease in Childhood, 103: 431-436, 2018) was actually performed in England where the consumption of fast foods (They call them takeaway meals) is not quite as pervasive as it is in the US. But, fast food consumption is increasing rapidly. According to the authors, fast food consumption had increased by more than 25% between 1996 and 2006 and is continuing to increase.

This study was part of a larger Child Heart And Health Study in England (CHASE), which was designed to measure markers of heart disease and diabetes in a multiethnic population of children aged 9-10 years. The study enrolled 1948 primary school children in grade 5 from 85 primary schools across London, Birmingham, and Leicester.

The students were asked about their eating patterns by trained dietitians. Memory cues were used to add recall and photographs were used to help them estimate portion sizes. Fast food consumption broke down as follows:

  • 26% of the children never or hardly ever consumed fast food meals.
  • 46% of the children consumed fast food meals less than once a week.
  • 28% of the children consumed fast food meals once a week or more.

 

How Does Fast Food Affect Children’s Health

 

how does fast food affect children's health junk foodWhen the investigators compared data from the children consuming one or more fast food meals a week with the data from children who never or hardly ever ate fast food meals:

#1: Diet quality was poorer:

  • Total calories consumed, fat, saturate fat, and caloric density of foods consumed were all significantly higher.
  • Consumption of complex carbohydrates and protein was significantly less. In contrast, sugar consumption was unchanged.
  • Intakes of vitamin C, iron, calcium, and folate were significantly less.

#2: Markers of health outcomes were poorer:

  • Fat mass and skinfold thickness (a measure of obesity) were significantly greater.
  • Total and LDL cholesterol were significantly higher. The authors estimated that if these levels were maintained over a lifetime, long-term cardiovascular risk would be increased by approximately 10%.

The authors concluded:

  • “Our study suggests that children who regularly eat takeaway (fast food) meals have adverse lipid profiles, higher body fat, and poorer diet quality.
  • Efforts to reduce takeaway meal consumption in children could have both short-term and long-term health benefits.”

 

What Does This Study Mean For You?

So, how does fast food affect children’s health?  This study is consistent with multiple other studies looking at the effect of consumption of fast food meals on diet quality, obesity, and markers of future disease outcomes in teens and young adults. This study simply showed that the adverse effects of fast food meals are apparent even in younger children.

how does fast food affect children's health fatClearly, fast foods should be avoided. One needs to go no further than the film “Supersize Me” to understand the dangers of excessive fast food consumption.

But, fast foods are just the tip of the iceberg. This study did not look at fast foods purchased by the parents and eaten at home. Nor did it look at sodas, junk foods, and convenience foods consumed at home.

Finally, while things are probably changing, the English diet, like the American diet, is not known as a particularly healthy diet. In fact, both English and American diets are the worst of all possible worlds. They are high in fat, saturated fat, sugars, and refined carbohydrates. They are meat heavy and light on fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Eliminating fast foods from your child’s diet is just the first step towards a healthy diet. We should be focusing on a holistic approach to a healthier diet, such as I have outlined in my book “Slaying The Food Myths.”

 

The Bottom Line:

A recent study looked at the effect of fast food consumption on diet quality, obesity, and markers of disease risk in English schoolchildren ages 9-10 years. When the investigators compared data from the children consuming one or more fast food meals a week with the data from children who never or hardly ever ate fast food meals:

#1: Diet quality was poorer:

  • Total calories consumed, fat, saturate fat, and caloric density of foods consumed were all significantly higher.
  • Consumption of complex carbohydrates and protein was significantly less. In contrast, sugar consumption was unchanged.
  • Intakes of vitamin C, iron, calcium, and folate were significantly less.

#2: Markers of health outcomes were poorer:

  • Fat mass and skinfold thickness (a measure of obesity) were significantly greater.
  • Total and LDL cholesterol were significantly higher. The authors estimated that if these levels were maintained over a lifetime, long-term cardiovascular risk would be increased by approximately 10%.

Clearly, fast foods are to be avoided. But, eliminating fast foods from your child’s diet is just the first step towards a healthy diet. We should be focusing on a holistic approach to a healthier diet, such as I have outlined in my book “Slaying The Food Myths.”

For more details, read the article above:

 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Latest Article

Headache Relief By Treating Your Shoulder

Posted June 18, 2019 by Dr. Steve Chaney

A Headache Remedy Can be Treating Your Shoulder

Author: Julie Donnelly, LMT –The Pain Relief Expert

Editor: Dr. Steve Chaney

 

 

When you experience the debilitating effects of headache pain, you just want headache relief.

headache relief from painYour head throbs. It’s hard to think. It’s hard to enjoy life.

What should you do?

  • You could take Tylenol or some other drug, but that offers temporary relief at best.
  • You could see a chiropractor, but it may take multiple visits to correct your problem.
  • You could get a massage, but the headache will probably come back.

What you really want is a natural protocol you can use to make the headache go away whenever it occurs. There is such a protocol. It’s called muscular therapy, and I teach people how to perform it on themselves whenever a headache or joint pain occurs.

 

What Is The Difference Between Massage And Muscular Therapy?

There is a difference between massage and muscular therapy as a headache remedy, and both are worthwhile.  Massage is great for moving the fluids (like blood and lymph) through your body and getting muscles to relax. It’s perfect if you’re under stress and you feel like you’re going to explode.  A good massage therapist can have a positive impact on your nervous system and blood pressure, and you’ll come out walking on air.

Muscular therapy, the way I do it anyway, is more focused than it is general.  You’ve heard about spasms, but most people can’t visualize a spasm, so they ignore the term. You probably have an idea that a spasm may be painful, and it isn’t a great thing to have, but what is a spasm?

What is a Spasm

headache relief muscle knotsI explain it as a knot in the muscle.  Through some very complicated physiology (that none of us need to know about) the muscle forms a knot in the thick part of the muscle, and it’s putting a strain on the two ends.

Both ends are attached to a bone, so the pressure causes a strain on the end points and you have pain at the bone.  Most of the time the end points are just after the muscle crosses over a joint, so you end up with joint pain.

 

Too often people think this is arthritis and they are stuck suffering or taking strong drugs to mask the pain.  But in the majority of cases it’s not arthritis, it’s just tight muscles pulling on the bones of the joint and preventing them from moving freely.

But, all you need is to know where the knot (spasm) is, and then apply direct pressure on it.  Hold the pressure for 30 seconds or so, and then let go.  Keep repeating this until it doesn’t hurt anymore.

Headache Relief

headache relief shoulderLet’s say you have headache pain.  There are so many muscles that impact headaches that it would take a book (like my book: “Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living”) to discuss each of them.  So, let’s just look at one muscle, the Levator Scapulae.

The Levator Scapulae is responsible for lifting your shoulder up.  In fact, the nickname for the Levator Scapulae is “the shrug muscle.” But look at this graphic and you’ll see where the knots form (the round red circles) and where you feel the pain (the red shaded areas).

You may not think to press on your lower neck/shoulder when you feel headache pain.  This muscle also causes the pain you feel in the middle of your back, between your shoulder blades.

 

And self-treatment is so easy!

 

headache relief shoulder muscle workYou can put your opposite thumb into the front of your shoulder as shown in this picture, and your fingers in the back of the muscle. Then squeeze your thumb and fingers so they pinch the entire muscle.

 

headache relief shoulder muscle pressure using wallOr you can put the perfect ball on the very top of your shoulder and then lean into the corner of a wall as shown in this picture.

 

What you are doing is forcing the acid (as in Lactic Acid) out of the muscle fiber so blood can fill the void and heal the muscle fiber.  As you do this you are untying the knot and the pressure is removed from the joint. In most cases the joint can now move more freely and without pain.

All the self-treatments in my book are just this easy!

Most people have significant pain relief, and I am happy to say many get total and permanent pain relief.  Try it yourself, self-treatment is easy.  The worst thing that can happen is nothing, and the best thing that can happen is regaining normalcy.

Why stay in pain when it’s so easy to find the muscular source of the problem and eliminate it?

pain free living book coverGet Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living . It is filled with over 100 pictures and descriptions proven to show you how to find and self-treat muscle spasms from head to foot!

Join the 1000’s of people worldwide who have discovered that tight muscles were the true source of pains they thought were from arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other serious conditions.  You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain by releasing tight muscles.

Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living is your step-by-step guide to pain relief!

 

Wishing you well,

 

Julie Donnelly

Julie Donnelly

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

 

About The Author

Julie Donnelly is a Deep Muscle Massage Therapist with 20 years of experience specializing in the treatment of chronic joint pain and sports injuries. She has worked extensively with elite athletes and patients who have been unsuccessful at finding relief through the more conventional therapies.

She has been widely published, both on – and off – line, in magazines, newsletters, and newspapers around the country. She is also often chosen to speak at national conventions, medical schools, and health facilities nationwide.

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